The goal of this stage is to build a funnel of potential customer leads. These leads will be given to your sales team to pursue and close. The 2 basic steps are:
- Intelligence: Gathering information on potential leads
- Qualification: Qualifying those leads against a set of desired criteria
Let’s look at these in more detail…
At this stage you want to gather as much information as possible as you can on a potential customer. The information you’ll need depends on the nature of your product offering. If your business model is based on recurring revenue from licenses, then you’ll probably want to know how many potential users this customer may have.
Building intelligence on prospective customers isn’t easy. Some traditional methods include:
- Online Research
- Cold Calling
- Recent News and Media
- Personal References
Fore more on the topic of sales intelligence:
Now that you have leads for potential customer, you want to qualify them. Guide your research using the BANT approach and try to answer the following questions:
- Budget: Do they have enough money to purchase your product and or services?
- Authority: Can my contact make a purchase decision?
- Need: Do they have an underserved need that my offering can fulfil?
- Timeline: When is the prospect planning to buy?
Other useful questions regarding the organization:
- Geography: Is your prospect in your sales territory?
- Industry: Is your prospect in your target industry?
- Size: What’s the company size?
Your goal is to assess if they are worth pursuing in order to invest time and resources into building a long term relationship with them.
For more on the topic of Sales Qualification, check out:
- Lead Qualification: Rethinking BANT in the Modern B2B Sales Cycle
- The Ultimate Guide to Sales Qualification
- The Definitive Guide to Sales Lead Qualification and Sales Development
- 5 Levels of Lead Qualification
- What is a Qualified Lead?
Putting it all together
The desired outcome of your lead generation process is to generate qualified leads whose needs match the products and services your company offers. The better you are at generating qualified leads, the more successful your sales process will be.
In the next post, I’ll cover the sales process from the Salesman’s Point of View.